Enamel Techniques

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."  -- J. Keats


Nicole Barr jewelry is a rare example of the Art of Enameling. What is enamel? True vitreous enamel as used in each jewelry piece is the beautiful fusion of fired glass with sterling silver or 18 K gold --  resulting in a lustrous color that will never change. This technique was made famous in the 1900's by jewellers like Lalique, Faberge and Tiffany.

Enameling is our passion, and we'd like to introduce you to just a few of the difficult techniques used to produce the exclusive Nicole Barr jewelry and cufflinks collection.  

Plique à Jour

Plique à jour is the same technique used by the French enamelists Lalique and Feuillâtre in the 1900's. The French term means "glimpse of day" and describes how the light shines through the rich, lustrous enamel color. Each beautiful, delicate piece is translucent -- suspended between silver or gold wires without a backing, creating the effect of a stained glass window. 


Nicole Barr - Example of Plique-á-Jour Enamel


A French word for "raised field", in champlevé the artist removes the silver by cutting, hammering or stamping in order to create a depression which will then receive the melted glass. As the enamel is laid in the recessed areas of the silver, it is built up in layers until it reaches the same height as the remaining silver.  

Nicole Barr - Example of Champlevé Enamel

Basse Taille

French for "low cut", in this technique a pattern is created in the metal before enameling, so that when the enamel is laid over it the pattern shines through the transparent glass. Basse Taille adds texture and life to the design.

Nicole Barr - Example of Basse Taille Enamel